“Come on God. There has to be an easier way. This entire process can’t be necessary.”
It seemed like God was taking me through this long drawn out process instead of immediately delivering me in areas I had prayed about.
One day He said…”I am.”
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt."
God knows that there is a direct route, a shorter route, and even an easier route. But, He takes us the long way. Intentionally.
God is gifted with foresight and knows the war (adversity) that we will face. He knows that if He takes us directly there without the necessary preparation we’ll run right back into Egypt (slavery). So, He takes us the long way to get us ready.
Our lives are our greatest ministry. Sometimes God takes us through the long drawn out process so that we can truly say, “I’ve been there. I know how you feel. It took me 5 years to overcome that addiction, vice, or sin. You are not alone. Here’s what I did…” God can grace us to do anything, but He chooses to empower and strengthen us through our process so that in turn we can empower and strengthen one another.
God graced me with an ability to remain transparent through my writing. I’m a private person, but when God called me to write for Him remaining transparent and revealing “My Truth” was mandated. He continues to grace me with an ability to share…the good, bad, and the ugly.
But, there are still things that I struggle with that I know God could immediately deliver me from, but He hasn’t because He wants to take me the long way. For instance, masturbation…yeah I’m going there. It’s one of those things you don’t want to talk about it, but it’s real. I’ve prayed for the desire to be taken away and I’ve prayed for an increased willingness to obey God in this area, but I’m not always successful. It takes effort to forgo the call of my flesh in this area. I literally recite my version of Romans 12:1-2—“I will honor God with my body. I will honor God with my body. I will honor God with my body” over and over again until the urge passes. Sometimes it means crawling out of my bed, getting uncomfortable, and praying…right in the moment.
Today…acknowledge that it’s a process. Yes, there may be a more direct route, but if God is taking you the long way…enjoy the ride, learn all you can, cultivate your prayer life, and stay focused on the path He’s guiding you down. Chances are He knows that at some point He’s going to call you to minister—directly or indirectly—to someone else who will be struggling in that area. One of my Accountability Partner’s once told me, “Don’t hate the thing that brings you closer to God.” That thing that you struggle with…that thing that you pray God would make easier or take away….don’t hate it. It’s encouraging a dependent relationship on God which is EXACTLY where we need to be. So, cling to Him. He’s right by your side. He’s holding your hand. Stop being overly concerned about when you’ll “get to the end” or “complete the process” just think of it as a road trip with God. Talk to Him, share with Him, and trust Him to get you exactly where you need be exactly when you need to be there. It’s a process.
Written by Ashley Ivery